Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tip of the Day: The Importance of Reading Labels with Food Allergies

It is imperative to read every label and the entire list of ingredients of every product you buy, every time you buy it.

To ensure your safety and health you must read the list of ingredients of every product you purchase and intend on eating. Even if you have bought a product 1,000 times and you have the list of ingredients memorized, you must read it again if you plan on ingesting it. This is because a company can at any time choose to enhance a product by using milk or egg. They have also been known to announce this change by very fine print on a package and of course, adding it to the ingredient list. This is why you must read the list of ingredients every time.
I suggest this even if the product you're buying says that it is 'vegan' or 'milk-free' or 'egg-free'. Make sure they really are what they say they are.
It is also important to know that there are many more words to describe the presence of egg and milk besides the words egg and milk. You will want to go to the library and look up all the words that mean egg and/or milk are present in a product. Your doctor should also have a list to share with you so that when you are reading labels, you are informed and prepared. And if for any reason you have doubt about a specific ingredient, call the manufacturer and ask.
For those of you who are allergic to wheat and gluten, you have probably found out that those allergens can be hidden in words like 'natural flavorings'. 'Natural flavoring' can also be code for the fact that egg is present in some form.
These are the kind of things you need to avoid when shopping.
Talk to your doctor and do your research at the library.
And above all, be educated about ingredients and what they mean and then read every label and list of ingredients every time you buy a product.

Nicolle Avery

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